Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Day in the Life of... Lauren Willig!

Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of..

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!


A native of New York City, Lauren Willig has been writing romances ever since she got her hands on her first romance novel at the age of six. Three years later, she sent her first novel off to a publishing house—all three hundred hand-written pages. They sent it back. Undaunted, Lauren has continued to generate large piles of paper and walk in front of taxis while thinking about plot ideas. 

After thirteen years at an all girls school (explains the romance novels, doesn’t it?), Lauren set off for Yale and co-education, where she read lots of Shakespeare, wrote sonnet sequences when she was supposed to be doing her science requirement, and lived in a Gothic fortress complete with leaded windows and gargoyles. After college, she decided she really hadn’t had enough school yet, and headed off to that crimson place in Cambridge, Massachusetts for a degree in English history. Like her modern heroine, she spent a year doing dissertation research in London, tramping back and forth between the British Library and the Public Records Office, reading lots of British chick lit, and eating far too many Sainsbury’s frozen dinners.

By a strange quirk of fate, Lauren signed her first book contract during her first month of law school. She finished writing "Pink Carnation" during her 1L year, scribbled "Black Tulip" her 2L year, and struggled through "Emerald Ring" as a weary and jaded 3L. After three years of taking useful and practical classes like “Law in Ancient Athens” and “The Globalization of the Modern Legal Consciousness”, Lauren received her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. For a year and a half, she practiced as a litigation associate at a large New York law firm. But having attained the lofty heights of second year associate, she decided that book deadlines and doc review didn't mix and departed the law for a new adventure in full time writerdom.

A Day in the Life of.. Lauren

Sometimes, my days feels like a game of Chutes and Ladders.  Remember that one?  (Or its British cousin, Snakes and Ladders, which sounds much more dramatic.) 

Every time you think you’re moving forward, there’s that blasted chute again….

7:32:  Crack eye open.  The sky outside the window looks like this:

That doesn’t count as morning, right?  It’s still practically dark out.  Or at least distinctly gray, which is much the same thing.  Roll over and go back to sleep.

9:45:  Wait.  It’s not really 9:45, right?  My alarm was supposed to go off at 8:30.  It was 7:32 only five minutes ago.  The laws of time and space do not work like this, really they don’t.  Gah.  Also, why do I feel more tired than I did when I first woke up an hour ago?  That’s not fair. 

9:50:  Extract self reluctantly from lovely soft comfy bed, drag miserable bones to kitchen, measure out tea leaves, hit switch on magical tea machine, collapse on couch, balance NetBook on lap to type the website update I’d meant to write the night before. 

Why does everything look so fuzzy?  It’s not another eye infection, is it?

Oh.  Must have left glasses on night-table.  Ooops.

10:30:  Reasonably sentient after two cups of strong-enough-to-dissolve-a-spoon Scottish Breakfast tea and beginning to get panicky.  How?  How is it 10:30 already?  Okay, at least the web update is done and if I’m really efficient about responding to emails and posting on Facebook, I can be up, dressed, and at my favorite table at the nearer-by Starbucks by eleven.  It’s all good.  Deep breaths.

11:59:  Oh, crap.

12:22:  Finally at Starbucks, waiting on line for my caramel mocha, which isn’t as exciting as the caramel brulee lattes I used to get me through my last book, but, hey, it’s still caffeine.  And sugar.  And a little bit of nice, healthy milk buried away in there somewhere under all those syrups.  I haven’t showered, but that’s okay, I don’t smell that bad (hopefully), at least not as bad as that law student on my right (I cleverly deduce law student by the large Torts book and general air of glaze-eyed misery).  Maybe I’ll even go to the gym later!  But, first, must find a table.  My favorite table is taken.  Who ARE all these people and what are they doing in my Starbucks?

2:10:  Emerge blinking back into the 21st Century.  Where did my coffee go?  Oh, right.  I must have drunk it while I was working.  I have no recollection of working, but there are several pages on my laptop that weren’t there before.  There are also five missed calls on my phone and a rather impressive email pile-up.  I’ll just head back to the apartment and quickly deal with all that, have some lunch, and then get back to work.

4:45:  Stuck laundry in the machine down in the basement, responded to five requests for blog posts, reviewed galley copy for the next book, checked Facebook approximately fifty-two times, booked eight flights and five hotel rooms for book tour (there’s an imbalance there somewhere; must sort that out later), and booked a photographer for my wedding, all while eating a healthy and balanced lunch of cheese and crackers, most of the latter of which seems to have landed between the keys of my computer.  Okay, time to get back to that chapter…. 

4:50:  Where in the hell did Talleyrand live in the spring of 1805?  It’s not the Hotel de Talleyrand; he only moved there later.  Cue half an hour of frantic googling.  No, no, NO, silly search engine, I do NOT want to know about the Hotel de Talleyrand!  I don’t care if it has the same name, it’s not the right place.

5:20:  Find excellent description of Talleyrand’s bedroom and bedroom furniture—in the biography of Talleyrand sitting next to the desk.  Who would ever have thought of looking there?

5:25:  Decide not to set scene in Talleyrand’s bedroom after all.  Never mind.  But, hey, I now know all about his taste in interior decoration—on the off chance that ever comes up on Trivial Pursuit.  I wonder what happened to my old Trivial Pursuit set?  No, no, not going there, must go back to chapter.

5:30:  Friend calls with romantic crisis.  Try to make soothing noises while typing quietly in background.

5:45:  Urgent email from publicist reminding me of promised blog posts/book club appearances while on the cell phone with friend in the midst of romantic crisis.  Landline starts ringing repeatedly.  Someone important like my agent or my little sister?  No.  Harvard University soliciting money.  Ignore.  “No, really, darling, he was NEVER good enough for you….” 

5:50:  Landline rings again.  It’s Grandma, wanting to know about color schemes for the wedding.  Horrified to discover I don’t have one yet.  Tells long story about the Bridesmaid Who Wore the Wrong Color.  I nod and smile a lot before remembering she can’t actually see me.  Quietly type apology email to friend with romantic crisis.

6:30:  Guess I’m not going to the gym today.

7:00:  Or finishing that chapter.

7:30:  Book Club phone-in with lovely group in Vermont.  Much laughing and chatting.  They have wine.  I wish I did.  Hmm… open bottle in the fridge?

7:35:  Open bottle has been there since 2009 and has turned to vinegar.  I should pour it down the sink, but instead I cork it and stick it back in the fridge to confuse myself later.  Besides, it’s friends with the flat bottle of soda I also keep forgetting to spill out.

8:15:  Take leave of lovely book club with many mutual expressions of esteem and a promise to visit next time I’m in the area.  Did I leave laundry in the washing machine?  Okay, I’ll go downstairs and check, but first I should just take a quick look at that chapter….

10:45:  Chapter done.  Laundry crumpled.  And I still haven’t gone to the gym….


Books by Lauren:


  1. Oh, the delights of a crazy hectic day, right? :D At least you got your coffee fix for the day, even if nothing else works out like you had planned!


  2. Very funny :)
    Also, you're getting married?! Very exciting! Congrats.


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